Books for autumnal weather

Well, that heatwave was something, wasn’t it? I for one love reading in the heat, but there’s no doubt that the best time for curling up with a book is in autumn, when it’s raining outside and you just want to spend the day under a blanket with endless cups of tea.

If you’re looking for an autumnal read to match that fresh chill in the air, I have six recommendations for you. All these books feature weather in a big way – perfect reading for the changing seasons.

books for autumnal weather autumn reading cosy

Let’s get cosy!

Elmet by Fiona Mozley

This book is filled with the creaks and rustles of the forest. It’s set in a copse in Yorkshire and it follows the troubled, sometimes violent life of a small family who live there, off the grid, desperate to be left alone. Mozley is a master at gorgeous descriptions of landscape, and at sustaining an electric sense of threat all the way through to that explosive ending.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

This book thrums with sex and passion as we follow Janie, a young black woman in 19th-century America, who runs away from her loveless marriage to find the adventure she has always longed for. The weather bursts into the story in the form of the Okeechobee hurricane, and the great, destructive flood that brings the tale to its climax.

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Sticking with floods, The Book of Dust (Pullman’s ‘prequel’ to the His Dark Materials trilogy) features a flood that is so important to the story it’s basically a character in itself. Throughout the first part of the book the threat of the downpour hangs over the story, and when the deluge finally hits it carries the main characters from the familiar Oxford countryside into a world of magic and fairytale.

Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss

This incredible non-fiction book charts the year Sarah Moss spent living in Iceland, with her family, in 2009. She contrasts the mundanities of family life with the excitement of living in a new place, the joy of foreign adventure with the fear of being a newcomer in a strange land. The weather – changeable, extreme – serves as a backdrop to Moss’ revelations and discoveries, and she vividly renders the drama of the Icelandic landscape.

A Winter Book by Tove Jansson

The creator of the Moomins also wrote short stories for adults, and A Winter Book is a collection of her sharpest, coldest tales. Expect ice, snow, freezing temperatures and themes of isolation and loneliness. Many of the stories are told from the perspective of a child, who misunderstands the troubles of adults and takes pleasure in the small things.

Icebreaker by Horatio Clare

If you simply want to dive headfirst into winter, Icebreaker is the book for you. This is a non-fiction account of travel writer Horatio Clare’s ten-day journey on a Finnish icebreaker ship. He describes the ship, the gruelling work it does in the frozen seas between Finland and Sweden, and the politics and history of Finland. Ever-present throughout the book is ice, in all its glorious forms.


Do you have any autumnal reading recommendations? Let me know with a comment down below!

One Comment on “Books for autumnal weather

  1. Icebreaker sounds fantastic – I will definitely be looking it up!

    This autumn, I’m planning to read some more of Daphne Du Maurier’s work – I read Rebecca in autumn a few years ago, and there was something about it atmospherically that was perfectly fitted to the season. I’m hoping whichever I pick up next will be similar.

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